Airport naming mission rebuffed
Dr David Warren, inventor of the black box flight recorder. Photo: John Woudstra
Canberra Airport has recognised an 11-year-old girl's mission to change the name of the airport to honour black box inventor David Warren, but ultimately rejected her request.
Sydney schoolgirl Eve Cogan set up a blog, YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter account to garner support to name the airport after the late Australian. She collected more than 3000 signatures on a petition on change.org.
Eve became passionate about the inventor of the black box after doing a school assignment on him.
Stephen Byron. Photo: Lyn Mills
"Every year the year 5s and 6s have to do a project on a famous Australian and my dad told me about a lot of sports heroes I could research," she said.
''He also said he thought the inventor of the black box was Australian but he wasn't sure. I thought it was strange that people wouldn't know that."
Eve gained support from famous aviation figures, including Captain Chesley ''Sully'' Sullenberger, who landed a plane on the Hudson River in New York, and had been interviewed by local and international media.
A black box flight recorder, invented by David Warren.
However the airport's managing director, Stephen Byron, has politely brought her mission to an end.
"I just rang her up, and I was very pleased to speak with her," Mr Byron said.
"She was very polite and indicated that she very much understood all my reasons.
"But the reality is that Canberra Airport is the right name for Canberra Airport."
Mr Byron told Eve one of the reasons he did not want to rename the airport was because David Warren was associated with plane crashes, which could discourage passengers from flying.
Eve's father, Adam, said he had ''no clue'' her passion for David Warren would reach such heights.
"She's a very determined kid. She's the school captain … she plugs away on this petition," he said.
Though Mr Byron was firm Canberra Airport would not be renamed, Eve remains hopeful management will change its mind.
"I know when David Warren was trying to sell his idea to the government he got rejected lots of times, and I've only been rejected once so I'm going to keep on pushing," she said.
Mr Byron said he would call Eve in the weeks to come to discuss other ways in which to honour the black box inventor.
He is planning to speak to Qantas, Virgin and Melbourne and Sydney airports' CEOs about naming an aircraft after Mr Warren.